Media Expert: US Portrays Arabs as “Sub-Humans”, “Untermenschen”

Dr. Jack Shaheen, Professor Emeritus of Mass Communications, has studied portrayal of Arabs in US media for almost forty years.  For his 2007 book and the documentary of the same name, Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People, he analyzes a thousand US films, and finds that almost 100% portray negative stereotypes of Arabs.

As the US continues to threaten, occupy, and and rain explosive devices and poisonous chemicals on the Middle East, it is important to reexamine Shaheen’s work.

Stereotypes of Arabs in US media documented by Shaheen include the angry, threatning Arab who is always toting a rifle and causing explosions, and wealthy Arabs “buying up” chunks of the US.  These stereotypes represent a perceived violent and economic “conspiracy” against US Americans, who then view themselves as the victims.

Shaheen finds that “Arabs are the most maligned group in the history of Hollywood.  They are portrayed basically as sub-humans, untermenschen, the term used by Nazis to vilify Gypsies and Jews.

“All aspects of our culture project the Arab as villain. … There is no deviation.”

Further, he examines the historical record to illustrate how “Politics and Hollywood’s images are linked.  They reinforce one another.  Policy enforces mythical images, mythical images help enforce policy.”

US films that feature Arabs reveal US American “anger … born of fear … in response to a perceived conspiracy and threat by a specific group of people.  Well, we’ve seen and heard this before.  If we look at the anti-Semitic propaganda of the Nazis, at its core is an identical type of … threat“, including a perceived economic threat, which Shaheen discusses.

Indeed, powerful Europeans such as Hitler and Churchill, with racist ideas reflected in a notorious propaganda book called The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, saw an “evil prominence … obtained by Jews”; a Jewish “madness … allowed to prey upon the … German people”; the “schemes of the International Jews”; a Jewish “worldwide conspiracy for the overthrow of civilization”; Jews as “the mainspring of every subversive movement” for a century; Jews “gripping the Russian people by the heads”, making Jews the “undisputed masters”.  (All statements made by Winston Churchill)

Further, Shaheen shows, “the popular image of Arabs in some our most beloved Hollywood movies” actually “resembles … the popular image of Jews in Nazi propaganda … the only difference being that the Arab usually wears a robe and head-dress.”

nazi prop 1

German Portrayal of Jew Hoarding Treasure

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US Portrayal of Arab Hoarding Treasure

arab slave trader gladiator

US Portrayal of Arab Man in “Gladiator”

nazi prop 2

German Portrayal of Jew

nazi prop 4

German Portrayal of Jew

us arab prop 2

US Portrayal of Arab

us arab prop 2

US Portrayal of Rich Arab Lusting after Blonde US American Women

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German Portrayal of Rich, Threatening Soviet Jew with Whip

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US Portrayal of “Mad Dog” Arab

Note the Soviet symbol on the above Nazi portrayal of a Jewish man.  Churchill, who aggressively invaded the Soviet Union in 1918 (along with a Western axis of powers that included the US) proclaimed that “the part played in the creation of Bolshevism … by … Jews … probably outweighs all others.”  He gives a list of Bolshevik revolutionaries, then says they were “all Jews”, but notes that “In the Soviet institutions the predominance of Jews is even more astonishing”, with “Jews, and in some notable cases … Jewesses” taking the “prominent, if not principal” role.

Thus, while asserting that “The Aryan stock is bound to triumph”, he concluded that “One might as well legalise sodomy as recognise the Bolsheviks.”   The Bolshevik revolution had to be, as Churchill put it, “strangle[d] at its birth”.  Apparently intending those words fairly literally, he attacked the “Jew” and “Jewess”-led revolutionaries with poison gas, defiantly committing what was then considered the worst possible atrocity.  Of the overall operation, Churchill subsequently stated that his axis shot Bolsheviks on sight, blockaded their ports, sank their ships, and armed their enemies.  Undoubtedly, the attack helped foster an environment of fear in which security-obsessed hard-liners like Stalin were then able to thrive and seize power.  Indeed, Western Europe (now the Nazi regime) would invade Russia again two decades later, this time exterminating up to forty million Russians, approaching a third of the Russian population.  Virtually everyone in Russia today has a family member who was murdered in that campaign.

Just as the European perception and portrayal of Jews as a sub-human threat allowed Europeans to regard themselves as victims of Jews and kill large numbers of them (Jews had in reality of course been the victims of European repression and massacre for thousands of years), US Americans, likewise, turn reality on its head and largely regard themselves as threatened victims of Arabs (which is largely confabulation for military expansion and resource-looting), and kill large numbers of them.  The US has been involved, directly and indirectly, in killing millions of Arabs, Muslims, and other Middle Eastern people-groups for decades, particularly beginning in 1953 with the US/British overthrow of Iranian democracy, and leading up to US invasions of Iraq in the early ’90s, and US-led sanctions deemed “genocidal” by UN overseers, who resigned in protest.  All of this was done long before the 9/11/01 attacks (the US has continued to mass murder millions of Middle Easterners since 9/11), and nothing remotely approaching a reversal of it – Arab armies invading the US and destroying the society, killing millions of people through various means, etc. – has ever happened or could happen, at least in the real world.

Yet, with the Nazi-like, self-proclaimed-helpless-victim-under-constant-threat mindset, combined with endless, Nazi-like US propaganda portraying Arabs as threatening and “sub-human” (Shaheen), reality is all but unknown to US citizens.  On the rare occasion that a sliver of reality slips in, one finds that, for whatever reason, it doesn’t count, and more invasions, murders, and other crimes against humanity are planned, supported, perpetrated, and unpunished, with mountains of Arab, Muslim, and other Middle Eastern peoples, murdered by or thanks to the noble, rational US American “victims”,  piled higher.

Also note: “Although usually incorrectly considered to have been coined by the Nazis, the term “under man” [subhuman] … was first used by American author Lothrop Stoddard [PhD, Harvard] in the title of his 1922 pamphlet The Revolt Against Civilization: The Menace of the Under-man“.  He also authored The Rising Tide of Color Against White World-Supremacy, and other books.  On page one of the former, Stoddard, like the European leaders noted above, identifies “largely Jewish Bolshevist[s]” as a secondary cause of the “revolutionary unrest that today afflicts the entire world”.  The root cause, he says, recalling Churchill’s thinking, is the spread of “alien stock” through “a process of racial impoverishment”, largely attributable to scheming, clever “Russian Jews” who bring about “revolutionary unrest” that threatens to “destroy” our “civilization”.

However, this is not to discount the “widespread harm” done by the “determined, ruthless minority” of “largely Jewish” Bolsheviks who issue propaganda that, Stoddard informs us, is equivalent to artworks of “low-type savage man”, at which “normal persons should be inclined to laugh”.

Whereas previously, Jews were “so segregated from the general population that they [could] exert… almost no influence upon popular thought or action”, now the “influence of the Jews”, says Stoddard, is “typifie[d] … in the “rise of Karl Marx”.

On the same wavelength as Churchill, Stoddard continues that “Jews have played an important part in all social revolutionary movements, from the time of Marx and Engels…”  While urgently denouncing the degenerate, “largely Jewish” “communists”, Stoddard advocates instead for what he calls “more conservative social elements” to preserve the “high grade Anglo-Saxon stock” that had formed the US and was being threatened by “alien[s]”.

The reverberations of his work can be seen daily in mainstream discourse.


Author’s research focuses on global force dynamics.  He also writes professionally for the film industry.  His articles have been noted by professors, scholars, student-groups, and other independent researchers. 

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  • Joseph Pomrink

    Iranians aren’t arabs, it’s nice how you bend reality to fit your preconceived opioning.

    Iranians are Persians you racist. Just because they are brown skinned doesn’t mean they’re Arabs.

    • Rapefugee

      What’s the point trying to distinguish different sorts of shit ?